How to Lead Change With This Powerful Tool

Mike Pelfini — 18 November 2015

I thought: pity the poor in spirit who know neither the enchantment nor the beauty of language.  ― Muriel BarberyThe Elegance of the Hedgehog

There is perhaps no more powerful tool available to leaders as the written or spoken word.  Even more compelling is the spoken word shared in discourse among two or more people.

Analyze any successful model or theory of leadership.  Unraveled, what you’ll find at its foundational core is language: its use, misuse, and capacity to influence behavior.

I’ve invited my friend, Communications Coach Gary Purece, to share his thoughts on the importance of words.

​In these vulnerable times, it seems, we have the opportunity to bring healing and positive change, if we choose them carefully.

Words are pale shadows of forgotten names. As names have power, words have power. Words can light fires in the minds of men. Words can wring tears from the hardest hearts. ― Patrick RothfussThe Name of the Wind

Words have sent nations into a war halfway around the planet.  Words have galvanized an entire society; Words turned nations from civil unrest to peaceful societies.  When its citizens went to bed that night – they got a better night’s sleep because words gave the hope of a better tomorrow.

As an Executive Coach, speaker, and vocabulary geek I am addicted to words. The lens through which I view the world is through the use of the language and its importance in our daily lives.

Words have inspired me and made me cry.  In my youth words inspired me to learn and discover.  Words increased the level of my maturity and capacity for logic and helped me make better decisions.

Words Matter:

Words win elections
Words win a negotiation
Words turn meetings into positive experiences
Words solve problems
Words inspire and motivate

I thought: pity the poor in spirit who know neither the enchantment nor the beauty of language.  ― Muriel BarberyThe Elegance of the Hedgehog

I recall reading an essay that said words are alive – they come from the heart, the soul, they are as much a member of us as an arm or a leg. Words help me express my deepest thoughts and concerns.

Words are living objects;

They tell workplace accomplishment stories that win interviews.
Words move companies from the brink of destruction to an innovative and flourishing company.
Words used incorrectly bring defeat, confusion, and misdirection.

However, one or two positive words (Yes, Wow, Good Idea, That’s Good) can inspire and motivate employees.

“Sticks and Stones may break bone but names will never hurt me” is far from true. There is evidence that verbal insults will affect your emotions.  Too many feelings have been unintentionally hurt by ill-chosen words.  Heartbreak and anguish have been the results of ill-chosen words.

I believe in the power of words.  Words are continually telling stories and painting pictures as no other cultural symbol can do.

Words create innovation; inspire an entire nation to land a man on the moon, stop human rights abuses, and help a young adult take that first step in her life-long journey.

Words give all the help – yet words have never asked for a thank you note.  Words just do their job.

World leaders, poets, story-tellers, and corporate leaders use words that captivate and control the human spirit.  Words can make us rise in anger.  They help us celebrate.

When used correctly, words have the power to change the world.

Gary Purece is an executive coach and speaker who helps executives lead and communicate with confidence and authority. Gary’s executive clients are better prepared to face the challenges of the day and they deliver communication that gets attention.  Gary’s keynotes “Words-Matter” and “Stories Say It Best” are requested by businesses that stress the importance of good workplace communication. He can be reached at

Mike Pelfini of Michael Pelfini Consulting provides leadership coaching and training for CEOs, senior leaders and executive teams.  Mike guides individuals and organizations across thresholds onto paths leading to deeper purpose, rediscovered relevance and greater sustainability…to maximum achievement.

Contact Mike for a free consultation!
(415) 250-4139

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